A lukewarm hodgepodge of narrative elements cribbed from far better sci-fi thrillers, Stranded shares with many of its superior forebears a low-flame suspicion of the feminine. The whole movie hinges on a foolish choice made by the story’s lone female character, and how that choice (literally) spawns a monster. A four-person crew working on a “mineral exploration camp” in outer space is caught off guard by a meteor shower that so wrecks their station they have to make plans to return to Earth immediately. As a result of the damage, there’s a slow leak of carbon monoxide, whose side effects, as the ship’s doctor ominously intones, “include hallucinations, disorientation, headaches, visual disturbances, and death.” Before the crew can make their move, a monstrous, shape-shifting being is unleashed and the death toll slowly rises. Christian Slater plays the ship’s captain, and only the fact that he’s Christian Slater graces his character with anything remotely approaching resonance. Even he seems bored, though. Trite dialogue, stock characters, and bad-to-middling special effects make Stranded more tedious than scary or nerve-wracking.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 24, 2013